A buzzing community theatre with an impressive history.
Talk about having a lot to live up to: in the '50s and '60s Theatre Royal Stratford East was arguably the most influential theatre in London, thanks to the presence of the visionary Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop.
These days its output tends to send fewer shockwaves around the world, but it's a pillar of the diverse Stratford community, with a good record of interesting, off-beat musicals and one of the finest pantomimes in London.
It's atmospheric bar is a lively spot, usually buzzing with free live music and full of the smell of the delicious Caribbean food served from the kitchen.
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The House of In Between
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Average User Rating
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The Stratford Royal Theatre is a local gem for a myriad of reasons- I have seen a handful of productions here over the past two years, ranging from pantomimes, new shows and retelling of classic stories, and all had high production values with a solid cast and engaging storytelling . Tickets are affordable and discounts are offered to Newham residents or occasionally online through deal websites such as Groupon or Amazon Local. The Victorian theatre is very charming and boasts a lot of character and the ushers and staff have always been extremely helpful and friendly.
The theatre bar is a bit of a local secret- it serves a fantastic menu of Caribbean food that comes out of the kitchen quickly, hot and packed with flavour. All dishes offer great value for money for either lunch or dinner; there's also an expansive kids menu and freshly baked cakes on display daily. This is possibly the best theatre kitchen in London for a relaxed meal (provided you avoid the surge of theatre-goers ordering from the menu before an evening performance!). The atmosphere is colourful and relaxed- the bar is decked out with patio style rattan furniture and a few large booths as well. In the summer, there is a good outdoor space that spills out on to a square that is secluded from the high street.
The theatre attracts a wide demographic of people for the productions and in the bar, so you get a real sense of community and a buzzing atmosphere whether you're there for a show or are just popping in for a drink after work. There are lots of weekly events that take place in the bar, including an extended happy hour on Thursday nights and various live performances throughout the week. Since moving to Stratford three years ago, the bar has really stepped up to offer more consistent service and has put in the effort to redesign their menus for a more polished look.
This is a great little corner in Stratford that is worth a visit for a few drinks, its vibrant food and atmosphere and the quality and variety of productions. It will also be hosting a temporary theatre space called The Red Crate in collaboration with the National Theatre during the 2015-2016 season, which will double the size of its programme listings.